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Homemade Dog Toys

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
December 8, 2010

As I watched our puppy rip apart yet another toy, it occurred to me that I might as well hand her the ten dollar bill to chew. I'm wasting my money buying pet toys at the store time and time again. Instead, there are cheaper homemade toys that are just as fun for the pup and much easier on my wallet.

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Sock Toys

Old socks make great dog toys. Watch out that your pup doesn't think every sock is a toy, but it's easier to put socks away than to buy dozens of expensive chew toys. Be creative and make some great toys with your old tube socks. Just remember to take any small pieces so the dog doesn't eat the sock.

Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.

Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.

The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.

Water Bottles

Recycle in a whole new way with bottled water. After visiting the pet store for one more dog toy, I found an expensive but innovative toy. It was a stuffed raccoon, but instead of stuffing inside there was an empty water bottle. It made a pleasing crunching sound, and when the bottle was crushed a Velcro opening allowed it to be replaced. This gave me an idea, and I started to raid the recycling bin.

Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.

Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.

On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.

Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.

Sew Your Own

Know that certain craft stores sell the squeaky inserts for toys as well as sound chips that will be activated when squeezed. Inserting these deep inside the sock toys or generic stuffed toys found at yard sales will make a perfect toy.

To create the stuffing free toy that so many stores sell, buy some heavy fabric and get out your sewing machine. Cut out a basic shape - dogs don't care. Layer six or seven layers of the fabric on top of each other, sewing each layer to the one below it.

Remember, it's okay for your furry friend to destroy his toys now. It only takes five minutes to make new ones.

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22 More Solutions

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June 1, 2009

When making noise-making pet toys, such as the ones using empty water bottles, potato chip canisters, or pill bottles, use dry food or treats instead of the suggested marbles, bells, etc.

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April 22, 2005

My dog loves to chew on empty 20-ounce pop bottles, so I made an inexpensive variation of that. Take a 20-ounce pop bottle, drop a couple of dried beans inside, and put the cap on tightly.

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September 10, 2008

Check out the remnant rack at your local fabric store. Find fleece, any kind, and cut it in 2 inch wide by 24 or 36 inch long strips. Place 3 together tie the ends together knotting it twice and start braiding to the end. Tie the other end.

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Now that our puppy is older and much bigger, I've been forced to come up with a new way to keep her entertained and out of my hair when I am cooking dinner.

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My dog loves a light stuffed toy hanging from a doorway on a length of elastic at a length that requires her to leap at to snatch at and grab. Then the toy is snapped away by the elastic when she lets go! She loves it, and so do I. It gives her exercise and we never get bored.

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Give your furry friends a Christmas present by sewing these cute animals. The patterns are very simple and inexpensive to make. This is also a great way to use up those scraps!

Homemade Pet Toys

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I put small bits of food in a Parmesan cheese container for our dog. Older dogs are unable to chew it up, but can get hours of enjoyment trying to get the treat out.

Parmesan Cheese Container

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Use your old socks to make dog toys. Buy some squeakers, you can buy them in bulk online. I found them on Amazon. Roll one in some socks to make a small ball. Stuff that in a long one and tie one or two knots in it. It lasts longer than all those toys. Squeakers are optional, but the dogs like the hanging parts that flip around.

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This cheap dog toy also provides an IQ challenge. Put a piece of dog biscuit or a treat in a Propel water bottle (with no cap and the plastic retainer ring removed).

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September 11, 2013

Put a dog treat under a jar lid and put it on the floor with the dog watching. It works a treat, just keep something handy for rescuing the lid from under the freezer, etc.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I'm looking for an inexpensive way to make toys for a lot of hounds (hunting dogs). Any ideas? Thanks.

By Orinda T. Berg from Gloucester, VA

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I put a tennis ball into the toe of an old sock and my puppy went wild for it. As he got older I used two socks for added strength. He's nearly two years now and gets excited when a new one surfaces! Tennis balls can be bought cheaply at sporting good stores, but you can easily pick some up at your local college or high school. Tennis players will leave balls that aren't responsive anymore and your dog doesn't care.

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March 5, 2001

Do you have any frugal chew toy ideas for dogs that are safe?

By Joy

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Anonymous
March 5, 20010 found this helpful

When my leotards & other such stretchy knit clothes are too worn to wear on any self-respecting human, I wash & dry them & then tie them into big knots for use as dog tug-o-war toys. - Alekscat the frugal feline, Richmond,VA

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March 7, 20010 found this helpful

I used to work at a Goodwill thrift store and people would come in and buy the stuffed animals by the bagfuls! They were giving them to their animals as chews toys!! You can also find cheap stuffed toys at the Salvations Army, etc.

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May 20, 20020 found this helpful

For the cheap dog toys request, Please let her know that many attended laundrymats keep a lost and found. After so long they discard the clothes. Towels and socks knotted make excellent dog toys. If she can sew, you can get squeakers and rattles at some craft stores. Also greyhound rescues often have days where you can volunteer to help make toys and blankets. If she attends one of these or can talk to the person in charge, you can get the toys cheap, or at least learn to make them.
- Rachel

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By hwalz (Guest Post)
May 5, 20040 found this helpful

Yard sales and garage sales are also a source of cheap stuffed animals.

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Photos

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Puppies are the best! That is, until you're trying to do your house work and your puppy is constantly underfoot. I have a tip that I use once in a while to gain me some peace.

Puppy laying on towel.

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December 27, 2016

This is a page about making a rag knots chewing toy. If your dog loves to chew and play tug-o-war, a rag knots chew toy is perfect for them.

Rag Knots Chewing Toy

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